- Associated Press - Monday, June 1, 2015

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Houston-based oil and gas producer Apache Corp. will close its regional office in Tulsa as part of a company-wide restructuring.

The company announced its plans Monday to close the office that employs 160 people, and spokeswoman Castlen Kennedy said the company will try to offer as many jobs as possible to the 160 employees, the Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/1eLpCwi ) reported.

Kennedy said those jobs will probably be in Houston, San Antonio or Midland, Texas.

“The decision to close the Tulsa office has been a difficult one,” she said. “Tulsa has been a great host to us.”

The Tulsa office had been open since the mid-1950s and oversaw Apache drilling in the Anadarko Basin of western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle - but since the drop in the price of crude oil Apache has reduced the number of rigs from two dozen last year to one.

Kennedy said Apache will maintain several district offices in Oklahoma.

“We’re not leaving Oklahoma,” she said. “Apache has significant assets in the Anadarko Basin.”

The leadership of the Tulsa Regional Chamber said that while they were disappointed to learn Apache was ceasing operations in northeast Oklahoma, they praised the company for being a long-standing partner and being what they described as a positive presence in the community.

Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal said in a statement that they will provide assistance to those affected.

“While months of low oil prices are continuing to impact oil producers and suppliers globally, we’re confident other thriving industries in the Tulsa region, of which many are in desperate need of skilled workers, will be able to absorb these affected employees,” Neal added.

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